Give an account of the ascension of Yoko to chiefdom in Let Me Die Alone.
Yoko’s ascension to chiefdom in John Kolosa Kargbo’s Let Me Die Alone is nothing short of drama, intriguing drama that keeps the audience transfixed, imbued with suspense.
The question as to who succeeds Gbanya has never really been a question in the first place. Yoko is the favourite for the throne. Gbanya has promised her the throne. Lamboi knows this but his ambition to have the seat for himself would not let him accept this eventuality.
In the beginning of the play when Gbanya is having premonitions, ones that suggest he might join his ancestors soon, Yoko, it is noted, reminds Gbanya of a pact they earlier had; that Gbanya would bestow the chiefdom to her, which makes her his successor.
Upon being reminded, Gbanya is however reluctant to acquiesce to this earlier set-up because he feels that Yoko, being a woman and supposedly weak, can not handle efficiently the running of the affairs of the chiefdom.
This is coming especially in a precarious time when the chiefdom is beleaguered with crises within and without.
He opines, regardless of Yoko’s protest, that what the chiefdom needs at that period is a warrior who is strong enough to put the affairs in order — not a woman.
However, in the event of his humiliation by the white man and the stark realisation that he has been poisoned by the duo of Musa and Lamboi, Gbanya changes his mind in his dying moments. While in death throes, he bequeaths the throne of Mendeland to Yoko whom he has initially promised the chiefdom.
After Gbanya’s death, Lamboi, in the event of his success, attempts to take over the chiefdom. But he meets the firm resistance of Yoko who is well aware that the throne now belongs to her. There is a tug-of-war between both parties on who should take over the reins of leadership.
When the issue seems to drag too long, Yoko’s fears that Gbanya did not die naturally are confirmed. She accuses both Lamboi and Musa of being complicit in Gbanya’s death.
This accusation does it; it thaws Lamboi’s frozen resolve and melts away Musa’s confidence. Their guilt-stricken conscience and the fear of being formally charged with Gbanya’s murder, a treasonous act, undo the head-to-head confrontation over the throne.
Yoko becomes the chief. Contrary to Gbanya’s low expectations, she takes Mendeland to greater heights.